The Rollercoaster Ride

It starts with anticipation and excitement, plus a bit of dread…

The adrenalin begins to flow – a new country, bonding with classmates, minds stretching with new information and skills, Faculty and guest speakers, off-campus exercises and cases, start-up projects and integrative exercises…

And then comes the peak as realisation hits – this is it! The fast pace, the intensity, the ride is in full swing and suddenly, the swoop towards the first round of exams has arrived.

A mountain of work to revise, three months of finance and accounting, economics and strategy – evening workshops , shared notes, nerves building in anticipation.

And this is where the MBAs are now. Preparing for next week – a week of exams.


But spring is in the air, the exams will be followed by a long weekend break, new classes will start, new Faculty be met, and spring will turn to summer…

And the roller coaster ride continues – a second round of revision and exams, company visits, the program quickly half way over as the pressure builds.

A trip around the world together, summer vacation.

Another module, career search in full swing, a digital lab, ICPs, electives.

The ride is nearing its end, adrenaline levels calm with a certain surprise that it’s over already, goodbyes approach.

But there’s one final swoop – awards and celebrations, the graduation ceremony and family reunions, the rush of success – yes, you did it ! You are an IMD MBA graduate ready for the next stage of your career with 89 lifelong friends to support you along the way.

group graduationPRG_1165r

Good luck to the class of 2018 on the first round of exams!


Hans the Dutchman

My name is Hans Bergers and I am an Aerospace Engineer by training. This year I am the only Dutchman in class. This means that the responsibility is on my shoulders alone to live up to the stereotypes, such as riding my bike to school every day. In the morning this makes for an easy whizz downhill to the beautiful lakeside. In the evening a bit less so. Among many other things, these little trips emphasize for me the quality of life that you can find here.

Continue reading “Hans the Dutchman”

Satoshi and new challenges


“The Room of Spirit and Time” is the room where warriors have unique training and refine their spirits. This room is depicted in the Japanese animation, Dragon Ball. One day in this room equals one year in the real world. It is how one Japanese alumnus described IMD to me and now I know exactly what he meant. Exactly!

Although I am surprised about how tough program is, I have also come to realize that I am very happy to work with my classmates. Life at IMD is tough, but alumni I speak to always tell me they would go back to IMD if they could. And I am already assured that my experience here will be one of the best highlights in my life. This is all about people. Surrounded by the right people in the right place. I can’t wait to see where else this adventurous journey takes me.

Before coming to IMD, I spent ten years in agricultural commodity trading in Japan and Singapore covering markets in Japan and Southeast Asian countries. As a trader, I travelled to more than ten countries including USA, Canada, UK, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I have always been happy to visit new places and meet new people.

I love team sports such as baseball and volleyball but due to current time constraints, I have started training for a marathon, bike and swimming. I would like to train and join a triathlon competition in Switzerland if time allows. (if…)




Thank you

Throughout this year, the blog has offered us a small glimpse into the journey of 90 MBAs. We have read about their initial expectations and seen how they came together as a group and as teams. There have been stories about individual impressions, struggles and momentous occasions. We have gained insights into their projects and learnings as well as moments of friendship and fun. And there has been so much more.

Sharing is a gift and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have taken the time to share with us. The IMD MBA is a one-year program with a reputation for its intensity, and yet participants still took the time to reflect on their experiences and compose text and images that offered us a glimpse into their lives.

So, to our bloggers Mo, Priyanka, Lucien and Sathappan as well as all of the guest bloggers from this year’s class, I would like to extend a warm thank you.

Please don’t stop sharing, keep in touch and let us know how the journey continues.


The MBA class of 2017 has graduated!

I think my two favourite days of the MBA program are the first and last – there’s just so much emotion and positive energy floating around that it’s impossible not to be caught up in it.

Last night the MBAs and their families gathered with IMD Faculty and staff at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne for the beginning of the official graduation celebrations. Set in an atmosphere of triumph and of people overcoming the odds at Olympic Games around the world, we were entertained by members of the class as they told stories and shared memories, videos and photos.

Today though, was the culmination of all of this year’s achievements, the graduation. The traditional procession of MBAs into the auditorium lead by Faculty in their gowns; the speeches of inspiration, future promises and advice; the shared jokes; the farewells – but not goodbyes. And of course, the distribution of the diplomas, the moment when each one of our 90 participants become one of our graduates and alumni.

Amongst the audience we also welcomed back alumni from different years, some of whom had come to cheer on their own family members who have followed in their earlier footsteps.

The Guest Speaker, Mr Skou, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Møller-Mærsk, was also one of our alumni, having graduated from the IMD MBA in 1997. He focused on the importance of purpose and hard work and the need for great leaders in business who can make the world a better place.

Congratulations to all of our graduates – it’s been a privilege for us to work with you. Enjoy the rest of your journey and be sure to stay in touch!




Welcome by Professor Ralf Boscheck, Dean of the IMD MBA Program

Address by Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Graduation Guest Speaker

Distribution of Degrees

Announcement of Awards

Address by Professor Jean-François Manzoni, President of IMD

Address by Zehra Ali & Daniel Kearney, IMD MBA 2017 Graduates on behalf of the Graduating Class

Concluding Remarks by Professor Ralf Boscheck, Dean of the IMD MBA Program

Followed by Cocktail reception & class picture